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This is not easy to post. I'm sorry it is so long. I really need supportive but honest and insightful replies.<br><br>
Over the last year the idea of adoption has crossed my mind several times.<br><br>
After ds was born ten years ago (with heart problems) I know that dh was deeply afraid of another baby with heart problems. It terrifed me too, but probably scared dh even more. It took a LONG time (about 7 years) to get all three of us (ds had many surgeries) to a place where we were ready for another baby.<br><br>
We have tried for 3 years and lost two babies to miscarriages during that time. I learned I have an unusual uterus shape which may cause repeat pregnancy loss's, and is known to cause premature birth (which terrifies me).<br><br>
I never gave adoption any thought until the second miscarriage (which was a bloody traumatic nightmare...the baby was fine but died from an untreatable placental hemmorhage).<br><br>
I remember at some point sitting on the bed when I was recovering and saying to dh that I was afraid of every trying again. I said something about adoption. He was immediately and clearly okay with it. He isn't one to say something lightly, and I think he said "That would be fine with me". Which surprised me into shocked silence! We had never talked about it at all. I said something like "You could love a baby as much as ds even if it wasn't our biological baby?" and he said yes. I thought about this and can see that to him, it would be a way to avoid my health being endangered (both miscarriages scared him to death) , and to "know" (as much as one can, which you really can't) that the baby would healthy.<br><br>
But I feel SO torn over this and I'm wondering if my feelings are 'normal'.<br><br>
Do people who adopt have some deep...certainty?...that they should adopt?<br><br>
Because I don't feel that. Well, not yet.<br><br>
I know I am 100% sure I want a baby. I've tried and waiting for SO long, and it's been agonizing, painful, devestating...I can't put it into words.<br><br>
But part of me cannot imagine how one would form the kind of intense connection I feel with ds, towards another person's baby.<br><br>
Is that normal? How does that evolve? What happens to those fears? I NEVER feared that I wouldn't "love the baby" when pregnant with ds. But I do fear that now when I think of adoption. So *something* is different already, and I need to know how that difference resolves itself when you adopt, or of it doesn't, or if my worrying about this is a sign I should not adopt.<br><br>
I feel so confused.
 

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Having adopted I can tell you that your child is your child no matter who gave birth. I think what your feeling is normal. I think alot of biological parents have a hard time believing they could possibly love their second child as much as their first, until they are born. I have met many many adoptive parents, and I'm a midwife so I know many biological parents - and I believe with all my heart that your child finds you. I feel the reason my husband and I couldn't conceive is because our baby was going to be born in Guatemala and we had to be ready for her. I dont consider adoption charity (anyone whose been through the emotional roller coaster of adoption may agree) because it is not always an easy process. But, it is a wonderful way to grow a loving family IMHO.<br>
Best of luck to you and your family.
 

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Wow you have illuminated something I nearly posted but did not.<br><br>
This is such a fear and source of confusion for me. *Sometimes* I have read comments by adoptive parents that put the adoption in a light that seems...charitable to the child...and which leaves me with mixed feelings. Sometimes these are religious families and sometimes they are very political families...and the comments are along the line of "Doing God's work to minister to the needy" (via fostering to adopt) or "Having a rainbow family"....<br><br>
And I think that to me it can NEVER NEVER NEVER be about anything but the profound and certain commitment to that child as an individual, to that child as *my* child...<br><br>
I love (almost!) everything about mothering and attachment and bonding...it just HAS to be about that...not anything to do with giving "a needy child a chance" or doing something generous or charitable. That is not even on my radar. I would never consider pregnancy a "charitable act" and I can't see adoption that way (for myself) either. I would only do<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think alot of biological parents have a hard time believing they could possibly love their second child as much as their first, until they are born.</td>
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Okay. That's a good point. I knew I would love the babies in the second and third pregnancies...but I did wonder how any baby could be a better match for us than ds has been. So I am going to think about that. It's a good starting point.
 

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I too do not consider adoption as charity, and in hindsight too I see that my daughter was meant to be ours. She is who we were waiting for; there are so many signs of it now that it's surreal! But, when I was dealing with our losses (pregnancies and lost adoption referral), I had no way of knowing that with certainty!<br><br>
I will admit that I have always wanted to adopt, since I was 9 years old and read a book about a family who adopted a child from Vietnam. I had always assumed that I would have a bio and adoptive child. But, when our infertility problems were going to lead to paths I didn't want to take, adoption was our natural path.<br><br>
I think everyone comes to adoption for different reasons. If it's right for you, you will know it.<br><br>
In terms of loving, if you think about how we are not biologically related to our partners, yet we love them more than anything. It just seems logically that I would love my child too, despite no bio connection. I actually have already started to tell my daughter her adoption stories, and I tell her that we are all related by love, not biology. At almost 2, she has no idea what I mean, but she will one day.<br><br>
Holli
 

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Adoption is not charity, and I'm another who is made nervous by people who put a certain religious spin on it. However, it can be a win-win situation, in that people who want a child find one who is in need of parents.<br><br>
I think you are doing the right thing by exploring these feelings and fears. I know that the hour before I was introduced to my daughter, I was thinking to myself, "What the hell are we doing?" I confided this to my sister who has bio kids, and she said that all three times she has laid in bed the day or two before going into labor, looking at her hugely pregnant belly, thinking to herself, "What the hell was I thinking?"<br><br>
My kids are now 8 and 5. Not a day passes when I'm not grateful for my infertility. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't know these amazing children.
 

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I'm not going to get into the precise definition of "charity" (I don't know it and I am not going to bother looking it up) but I will say that, for us, adoption was a humanitarian act. Of course we wanted more children. We didn't look at one another and say, "Well, as much as we dread the little ankle biters, adoption is the morally correct thing to do so we'd better do it." We wanted more kids, and as far as we know we could have had more biological kids. So why choose adoption? Because there are children who need homes and we had a home that needed kids. I believe we did something good by adopting our kids, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I chose to bring more kids into my family, and I chose adoption as that method to help a child who needed a family. Maybe it's different in that I adopted older kids who were in orphanages and I honestly believe that their lives were bettered by being adopted.<br><br>
I can't answer your question about whether the fear of/feelings of not loving your adopted child as much dissipate over time because I never felt that way. I did, however, learn very quickly that you stop thinking of your child as "someone else's baby." My kids are MY kids. I made the DECISION to love them, just as I did my bio daughter. My bio daughter was cranky and didn't eat well and barfed on me with alarming frequency. I had PPD and I was miserable and I got very little positive reinforcement in parenting her. She just cried and barfed and pooped. But SOMEONE had to take care of her, and it was me. I felt an obligation to her and chose to fulfill that obligation. The affection and love and attachment came in time. I don't think it's that different with adopted kids. It's not always love at first sight, but you CHOOSE to love and care for your adopted child.<br><br>
HTH.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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ive never adopted but my brothers are from korea and i can tell you months go by where i dont even think of it and then someone will bring it up and im like "what? o..uh, yeah they were born in korea" they are my brothers regardless of who and where they were born.
 

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Heartmama,<br><br>
I am also a mom of a boy with heart issues, and our experience with him was a small, but significant part of our decision to adopt our dd. We had no reason to believe another child would be born with difficulties, but our experience was another facet in a very large picture that led us down the adoption path.<br><br>
I can't say I had a "deep certainty" before we adopted that this is what we should do, in fact that was one of my concerns I expressed to our SW during our homestudy. Is it possible to truly bond as a mother to a child you did not birth? She assured me not to worry....but I still had some apprehension until I had that picture in my hands. Then it was over, I knew she was my daughter. I knew she would have a little harder time bonding with me, but I was well prepared for that before her arrival. Now she is just as much ours as our bio ds's, and none of our sons have ever thought of her as anything other than their sister (albeit at times she does get on their nerves, of course).<br><br>
I think it's great that you are coming here to do some soul searching and would encourage you to do lots of reading and attend some adoption seminars put on by agencies. All these things can help you start to feel if this path is right for your family.
 

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The "charity" thing bugs me too. I think the reason it bugs me is because it implies a parent/child relationship that is "less than" a bio parent/child relationship. I know there are humanitarian reasons to adopt, as dharmamama pointed out, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that as long as the <i>primary</i> purpose of adopting is to find <i>your</i> child.<br><br>
As far as the fear of having a less intense connection goes, well, I think that adopting is a leap of faith, especially if you haven't done it before. You can listen to everyone tell you that you will love your child just as much as you would a bio child, but it is still a leap of faith until you experience it yourself. It is also a leap of faith with having a bio child, but the difference is that you see bio families all around you, and you are not exposed to all the same myths and biases that you are as you explore adoption. Nobody is questioning the validity of connections within bio families.<br><br>
I think the best thing to do is just to start to learn about adoption. Go forward thinking that this is a very viable option, and start to read, read, read. Especially read people's personal stories of their relationships with their adopted children. I found stories about people's journeys to their kids were especially heartwarming and reassuring. We didn't make our adoption decision all at once. I read and researched for almost a year. We talked about it and decided that it was <i>probably</i> the right thing. We made a preliminary decision to go forward at a certain point in time, and then we sat on that decision for about six months, in part because we needed a break from everything related to trying to have a baby, but in part to give ourselves time to listen to our hearts and feel the confirmation in our guts that we were on the right path. As time progressed, thoughts of ttc left and thoughts of adoption filled our minds and our hearts.<br><br>
I think the concept of the "psychological pregnancy", which is discussed in some adoption literature, might be helpful to you here. A physical pregnancy serves more than just the purpose of growing the baby, it is a time for parents to prepare psychologically for a new child. The adoption process serves the same purpose for adoptive parents, if they let it. As you do the paperwork and then go through the hoops, whether they are unique to international or domestic adoption, you prepare your heart for your new child. When you get to the end of this road, you are just as "expectant" as you would be if you were pregnant, and I believe all these experiences prime you to bond with your child. The excitement and anticipation, as well as the frustration and emotional pain of the process leave you totally ready to love this new child. Then, the attachment process just takes over. Read as much as you can about attachment (not just "attachment parenting" as we know it, but about attachment in adoption).
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In terms of loving, if you think about how we are not biologically related to our partners, yet we love them more than anything.</td>
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Oh! That's a really good point. I'm going to think on that. Thank you so much.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm not going to get into the precise definition of "charity" (I don't know it and I am not going to bother looking it up) but I will say that, for us, adoption was a humanitarian act.</td>
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I think I should clarify that I think I understand how another person would have a good feeling towards adoption from a humanitarian point of view. I do get that. What I wanted to clarify for myself was that this reason was not working *for me*. When *I* start thinking about adoption in terms of doing something humanitarian, I start to feel lost and confused. I needed to explore that.<br><br>
Tigeresse I'm glad to hear you spell out your process with attachment like that. It helps. I really have no clue what most people experience. What I tend to hear later is "I knew the instant I saw her she was mine!" and I'm stumbling in my mind trying to picture how that works. When I see that baby, why will I feel what I felt for ds at his birth, *instead* of what I feel when I see a newborn elsewhere. Nobody has to answer this. I'm just talking out loud here, trying to understand the process.<br><br>
Laurel I will definitely read up on psychological pregnancy. Thank you!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heartmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What I tend to hear later is "I knew the instant I saw her she was mine!" and I'm stumbling in my mind trying to picture how that works.</div>
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I felt that way with my second daughter/second adoption. We met Desta while we were in Ethiopia to adopt Efram. My dh and I just *knew* that Desta was our daughter.<br><br>
With our son/first adoption, we got his picture, we looked at it, and we wondered whether there was something *wrong* with *us* because he didn't look like our son. He looked like a miserable, crying, unattractive little guy. We felt bad that we didn't know *instantly* that this was our son, because we had heard from EVERYONE that it would be love at first sight and we would just *know*. We didn't know. It took about a week to start feeling like this *could* be our son. The more pictures and video we got, the more certain we became, because our son was always crying and we felt intense compassion for him.<br><br>
I think it's different for everyone and there is no "right" way for it to happen.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heartmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What I tend to hear later is "I knew the instant I saw her she was mine!" and I'm stumbling in my mind trying to picture how that works.</div>
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It does happen that way for some people. I think it happens for several reasons, one being that that particular child truly is meant to be "their" child and so there is a connection there, even though it may not be biological. I think the other reason is that prior to the child's coming there is a void in the parents' lives, and when the child arrives to fill that void, there are accompanying deep and strong emotions. The mind is very powerful--just as powerful as the body.<br><br>
I did not fall in love with my son instantly, but I did have other strong and intense emotions during his placement, mostly relating to his birthmother. His was a domestic newborn adoption, and his birthmom placed him in our arms. The placement was what I would call a very "deep" experience, more of an experience of awe rather than one of excitement. Even though I did not feel instantly overwhelmed with joy (actually, that feeling would have felt inappropriate in the face of his bmom's immediate grief), the attachment process happened very quickly and easily over a matter of days, perhaps a few weeks. When my ds, at 3 weeks old, looked at me one day and very deliberatly gave me a true, social, smile (an ear-to-ear grin, NOT "gas"), I knew we were both smitten.<br><br>
One interesting tidbit--an adoptive mom friend of mine was researching info on depression, as she had had post adoption depression. She found a study that has measured hormone levels in women who had just adopted and found that they were similar to post-partum women! I don't know if it was true for all the adoptive moms they measured, or just for those with depression, or what, but it's a fascinating idea. I wish I knew more about where to find the actual study. I'll have to ask her. Another friend who has adopted said that with one of her children, she felt such an intense response to her baby's cry that she swore if she had been lactating her milk would have let down. I just think that there are connections between the mind and body that we don't know about, and that even in the absence of physiological processes such as those that happen after birth, the psychological changes that we adoptive moms experience can be just as intense and can even sometimes mirror the physical.<br><br>
P.S. The best discussion I've found of the "psychological pregnancy" is in the book, Launching a Baby's Adoption, by Patricia Irwin Johnston. It is just an overall fabulous book, and very AP-friendly, though it is more relevant to people who are adopting infants.
 

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Heartmama,<br><br>
Just want to echo the other supportive words from other folks -- I think your soul-searching process is healthy and positive. Work with your grief, work with your questions . . . you will find the right path for your family, even if that path may not seem clear before/during/after, may not involve "love at first sight," etc.<br><br>
Speaking of falling in love with babies. . . . When I first saw my son, I didn't have this overwhelming "he's my child!" feeling . . . no angels were singing, no fireworks were going off inside my head. Instead, I looked at him with a mix of awe, bafflement, and curiosity, and thought to myself, "Holy freakin' cow . . . that thing is huge." Thing. The baby was a thing. Nice, huh?<br><br>
That was not with my adopted child. That was with my biological son right after he was born. I felt an instant sense of responsibility and tenderness, but . . . love? I don't know. . . . I think the falling in love part was a process for me that took several days to get off the ground. I once read that it takes bio mothers an average of two weeks to feel a real bond with their babies. Of course, there are those who feel it instantly -- hey, good for them!<br><br>
With my adopted daughter, my first reaction again was a mix of awe and bafflement. I remember wondering why she didn't have curly hair (she was "supposed" to be African American, but was much lighter than the other AA babies) and thinking she was small and adorable. But, that first day, my mind was focused on my responsibility to her, her b'mom . . . I had to figure out how to feed her, I was worried about her b'mom -- how she was doing emotionally, physically, etc., whether or not she would sign papers, whether or not she would make peace with the decision either way. The whole thing was overwhelming. The falling-in-love process took a few days to get fully underway, just like with my bio son. For me, that process seems to require that I *get to know* the little person a bit . . . get a sense of their unique selves.<br><br>
I remember my dad freaking a little about our adoption and worrying aloud in an e-mail that he wouldn't love his new grandchild "the same" as his other (biological) grandchildren. I told him that it probably would be different, for two reasons.<br><br>
First, I think grandparents in particular follow a different falling-in-love process with grandkids because they often are doing this souly pictures. Everyone loves to pour over the pics, figuring out whether the nose is from Uncle Joe, the chin from mommy, etc. etc. . . whether XYZ might mean they'll be "like" familiar relatives. It's fantasy -- I don't mean that disparagingly, it's just that this process isn't about really *knowing* the child. That whole early phase and the fantasies about what the child is like is gradually replaced with a real knowing of the child. Hopefully, anyway!<br><br>
I also suggested to my dad that he probably would *never* love his new grandchild "the same" as, for example, he loves our eldest son. I don't believe you *ever* love two kids (or two people) the same way, because each person is unique, each relationship is unique. Children deserve better than to be loved "the same" -- they deserve to be seen and appreciated and loved for who they really are.<br><br>
My relationship with my son and my daughter are definitely different for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they are very different people. I love both of them more than I could ever possibly say.<br><br>
Good luck on your journey!
 

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Dharmama, just to clarify, knowing what I know of you from your posts here, your humanitarian approach is nothing like what I've seen of the "charity" cases that didn't sit well with me. It's almost as if people want to be rewarded for saving these children. I always worry how this will be thrown back in their face when they are older. But, the negative feeling I've felt has never come from you. In fact, you are precisely the reason we are considering Ethiopia for a future adoption.<br><br>
Holli
 

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Laurel said:
I think the concept of the "psychological pregnancy", which is discussed in some adoption literature, might be helpful to you here. A physical pregnancy serves more than just the purpose of growing the baby, it is a time for parents to prepare psychologically for a new child. The adoption process serves the same purpose for adoptive parents, if they let it.
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Yes, yes, yes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> When people ask me about what it's like to be preparing for our adoption, I often tell them it's like being pregnant, but longer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> The waiting, the anticipation, it's (so far...I'm new to this) a lot like that fluttery "what will my baby be like" thinking that happens during pregnancy. Recently, for instance, it's occurred to me that the baby we'll be adopting is probably out there right now, her birthmother is pregnant with her. WOW!! She's in the making, on her way to us. I've even started a journal, like I did with my boys, talking about our dreams for her, what's going on in our lives, and about every little step that brings us closer to her. With my boys I talked about the steps of pregnancy, the trimesters and the weeks. With my baby girl, I'll be talking about milestones in the process...it's really so similar to pregnancy.<br><br>
I have to say, too, that adopting for us started out as a humanitarian act. For sure. Wanting to love someone in need of love just felt right. Since that, though, we've started to feel very strongly that our daughter is out there in the world, and adoption is the way to bring her home to us. Not sure if that's clear, but that's how it feels.<br><br>
All this thought and relflection is important. Good for you for venturing into it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heartmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Tigeresse I'm glad to hear you spell out your process with attachment like that. It helps. I really have no clue what most people experience. What I tend to hear later is "I knew the instant I saw her she was mine!" and I'm stumbling in my mind trying to picture how that works. When I see that baby, why will I feel what I felt for ds at his birth, *instead* of what I feel when I see a newborn elsewhere. Nobody has to answer this. I'm just talking out loud here, trying to understand the process.<br></div>
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I think what made a difference for me in terms of feeling dd was ours the process itself, and the intent behind it. Perhaps this is part of what some are referring to with regard to psycological pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy for the most part takes care of itself. Adoption does not. The work/research and preparation that goes on requires a great deal of focused intention, and this connected me with a daughter I had yet to meet. For this reason, I think agencies that provide less "hand holding" during the process may actually foster bonding, at least it helped for me, the one who would normally be pregnant. DH did a lot less w/regard to paperwork/research but never once waivered, even when China was shut down due to SARS, that our dd was there.<br><br>
As we got closer to our referral date, I felt more and more of a pull toward this unidentified child, so much that when her picture arrived it was like I had given birth, even though I was still not to see her for 5 more weeks. It was an amazing time, just like the births of my boys, even if the journey was very different (and a lot longer).
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to the original poster. What a traumatic time you have had<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Not everybody comes to adoption the same way, and your feelings are your feelings so of course they are normal! If you go through with adoption, you can set you heart and mind at ease because you will love that child with a fierceness and a devotion that will stun you. You will think to yourself "I can't believe I get to parent this wonderful person! I can't believe I am this lucky!"<br><br>
I know this sounds crazy but DH and I are grateful beyond words that we had fertility problems. We could probably get pregnant with a little help, but we are adoption devotees now. There is something idescribably moving about the universe (or God depending on who you are) matching you with another person who may be halfway around the world and saying "here, this is your family, you are meant to walk through this life together."<br><br>
On to the adoption "hero complex" as we call it in our family. It was there for us to a degree. I think it would be almost impossible to walk into a third world orphanage and think "thank god I can get this child out of here and I wish I could take more."<br><br>
THAT SAID.....<br><br>
Whenever someone says to us "wow, those kids sure are lucky," I know that they don't get it because there is nothing that our kids get from us that in any way compare with the gifts they give to us. Their mere existence makes my life worthwhile. Their breath makes my mouth water, the sound of the feet (each has a distinctive walks) is like a rythm to my life, their laugh fills my soul with joy.<br><br>
Adopting these children has brought my husband and I closer than I ever thought possible, and we were pretty darn close before. Watching him become a father has been inspiring to me as a mother.<br><br>
What I am trying to say is, go easy on yourself and take your time with this process. Think about where you might like to adopt from, boy or girl, domestic or international, what age etc. Sit with these questions for a while and know that there are no right answers. Be gentle with yourselves and go slowly.<br>
And remember that we are here for you.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heartmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What I tend to hear later is "I knew the instant I saw her she was mine!" and I'm stumbling in my mind trying to picture how that works.</div>
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I just wanted to add that I felt this for my son (our oldest) but not immediately for our daughter. It took a little longer for me with her, and it took her and dh several months to get close and several more months to fall in love. He knew it would happen, I had to try and relax and watch. It was an amazing thing to watch unfold, a father and a daughter falling deeply in love with each other.<br><br>
Attachment is different for everybody and I think the "I knew it immediately" thing is probably more rare than people think.<br><br>
There are lots of good resources out there. Check out <a href="http://www.tapestrybooks.com" target="_blank">www.tapestrybooks.com</a> which is an online bookstore devoted entirely to adoption, both domestic and international.
 

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I felt the same way with dd who is now 5. We received her when she was 2. I didn't fall madly head over heels in love with her at first sight. I did think she was very precious and was excited at the prospect of being her mom. But within the first few weeks I was madly head over heels in love. Even though I did not give birth to her when we went through our adoption and judge declared it final his words to us were: This child is now yours forever, it is as if she were born to you on (her DOB)." That sealed it for me. She is not labeled adopted she is just our daughter.<br><br>
I think everything you are feeling is normal. I was curious if I could love a child someone else gave birth to. It should never have been a worry of mine. Children have a way of getting into your heart and leaving their mark. My MIL and had said previously to our foster/adopting that she would not get attached to the child because she could stand the heartbreak of letting them go back. Within a mont our daughter had her wrapped around her finger, and still does. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I agree with those who have said that it's hard to imagine feeling the same way about any additional child as you do about children you already have. I am expecting our third, and it's hard to conceptualize that he will one day be just as much my kid as my already-here kids are, but I know that he will be. The first time I was pregnant, the experience was so exciting and all-consuming, and I couldn't stop thinking about the birth, etc. This time I know that the pregnancy and birth are so incredibly insignificant compared to the actual mothering of the baby once it's arrived, and my focus is totally different this time because of that. We wanted another baby, and for us right now the easiest way to come by one was to have one biologically (still not as easy for us as for some since we are lacking sperm and had to use a donor), but I really think the way our babies come to us is just the tiniest part of having babies and children.<br><br>
We had a foster baby this past fall (he was 3 days old at the time of placement), and I didn't expect to love him the way I did. We knew that we probably wouldn't be able to adopt him, and that he wouldn't be with us for very long, and I thought that knowing those things would keep me from really loving him. But the first night we had him, I found myself staying up all night just staring at him. . . which is exactly what I did on my first night with our bio babies. We only had him for a little over a week and it was totally heartbreaking when he left, even though it was not an unexpected outcome. I could have very easily felt that he was just as much "mine" as my bio kids, and while I thought about his birth mother and what she must be going through, I didn't feel like I was taking care of someone else's baby. The intensity of mothering a baby leaves little room for thinking about stuff like that. If I had known that he really would get to stay with us and be ours (or if that was even a good possibility), it would have been very, very easy to fall completely head-over-heels in love. Even as it was, I was amazed by how quickly I had begun to bond with him.<br><br>
I had a traumatic birth with my twins, and a difficult initial postpartum period. Even though I was never separated from my babies and was able to exclusively breastfeed them from the start, I had a very hard time bonding with one of them. It was several weeks before I felt like he was really MY baby. It didn't really feel like there was anything biologically making me bond with him, it just came about eventually through mothering him.<br><br>
HTH!<br><br>
Lex
 
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